Mobile Legends: Hadji’s crucial flame shot lifts Blacklist past Smart Omega in 2-1 thriller

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2021 11:08 PM

Bren winless anew after loss vs TNC 
RSG PH reverse-sweeps Echo PH 

Hadji's Kagura after the crucial flame shot that propelled Blacklist past rivals Smart Omega. Screenshot from MPL's livestream
Hadji's Kagura after the crucial flame shot that propelled Blacklist past rivals Smart Omega. Screenshot from MPL's livestream

MANILA—Blacklist International kept their winning run intact after beating Smart Omega in their first MPL Season 8 face-off, in what seemed to be a repeat of the MPL Season 7 Grand Finals. 

It was a close fight for both squads, who faced each other in the MPL Season 7 finals and the MSC 2021 Grand Finals when most of Smart Omega's roster was still with Execration.

Smart Omega banked on its signature late-game exploits to take Game 1. 

Blacklist ended Game 2 early and forced a decider, before Omega Esports could power up and bust any of the defending champions' turrets. 

Blacklist used a feeding Diggie strategy to boost their chances in the deciding match. Keeping the game at level, even with Smart Omega carrying a good kill lead early on. 

Smart Omega caught on and even destroyed all but one of the defending champs' turrets. But a crucial flame shot by Salic "Hadji" Imam's Kagura around the mid lane during the 20-minute mark allowed Blacklist some opening to take down four of Smart Omega's players and destroy their base. 

Hadji took the MVP award for Game 3, with a 5-3-4 kill-death-assist mark. 

Defending world champions Bren Esports, meanwhile, were sent reeling to their third straight loss after a sweep by TNC 2-0. 

Behind Daniel "Chuuu" Chu's Ling, TNC took Game 1 in dominant fashion, as the jungler came out of the set unscathed and with a massive 50,484 damage output. 

This dominant performance snowballed into Game 2, as TNC only allowed Bren Esports to take one turret before securing the series. 

Also, RSG PH bounced back from last week's loss with a reverse sweep against Echo PH, 2-1 to open Saturday's games. 

RSG survived a 28-minute Game 2, thanks to a crucial "Divine Judgement" by Christian “Iy4knu” Manaog's Kaja, setting up a play that would allow the rookies to take down 3 of Echo's players and give them the upper-hand to destroy their base.

RSG carried this momentum to Game 3, already destroying 7 of 9 of Echo's bases in the early game in asserting dominance.